Thursday, February 18, 2010
The Platte is poised and waiting for the sandhill cranes
I took a few extra minutes to photograph the Platte this morning on my way to work. The Platte has a lot of water in it right now due in large-part to snow melt. We've had a real winter in Nebraska this year, the kind we remember from when we were kids. The flows of water and ice are a key element in scouring the sandy riverbed helping to free it from vegetation.
Open channels are a welcome sign for sandhill cranes and wildlife of all kind because it creates a safe line of sight for birds to spot danger. Government and conservation groups spend a lot of time, money and effort to mechanically clear the rivers of vegetation to help mimic the Platte habitat of days gone by. Biologists do this but much of the animal behavior we see has yet to be studied to figure out optimal habitats for certain species of animals.
I have a few reports of sandhill cranes in the area but I have yet to see them first hand. Admittedly I have not spent a lot of time searching around as we have a lot going on around the Center these days. The weather feels right so I do expect more birds to make it to the area at any time. We’ll keep you posted!
Posted by Brad at 9:20 AM